Reviewed by Kevin Finnerty
“I don’t want to be the bad guy anymore,” says Wreck-It Ralph (voiced by John C. Reilly) to the shock and dismay of his video game villains support group in the animated family film, Wreck-It Ralph.
After 30 years of being the “Bad Guy,” constantly wrecking things in the arcade video game and always losing to Fix-It Felix (Jack McBrayer) – the good guy and hero of the game, Ralph decides to go rogue and sets off to go game-hopping. First, Ralph tries out a brand new first-person shooter game with a no-nonsense, tough sergeant named Calhoun (Jane Lynch) as the lead character. But, Ralph’s quickly overwhelmed and horrified by the giant attacking bugs and the non-stop violent action.
Next, Ralph accidentally ends up in a colorful, sweet, candy-filled arcade game where he meets Vanellope von Schweetz (Sarah Silverman), a young, irritating and mischief-making “glitch” who desperately wants to make a candy car, learn how to drive, and enter the game’s big race.
What Ralph doesn’t realize is since he left his own game the arcade owner believes it to be “out of order” and plans on shutting it down for good. This causes Fix-It Felix to go searching for Ralph and in an attempt to convince him to return to the game before it’s too late.
Loud and goofy, Wreck-It Ralph is at first a funny and creative adventure but soon gets bogged down in silly antics and unfunny juvenile humor while trying to force a heartfelt story. John C. Reilly is perfect at bringing Wreck-It Ralph to life, a big, not too bright, misunderstood klutz who only wants to be appreciated and liked for what he brings to the game by the other characters in his video game. He’s the giant with a heart of gold.
Sarah Silverman is a bit over the top as Vanellope, the bratty, annoying little girl glitch who torments and teases but also looks up to Ralph as a little sister would. It’s unfortunate however that when she and Ralph team up in the movie about halfway through, that’s when all the originality and funny humor disappear to make way for silly kid jokes and uninspired action.
The only people in the audience at any of the screenings of Wreck-It Ralph who will find it entertaining are children from the ages of 5 to 11. Everyone else will be looking at their watch, rolling their eyes and groaning. Or, in the case of a young couple at the screening I attended, fall off to sleep, perhaps to dream of a better movie.
Wreck-It Ralph is rated PG for some rude humor and mild action/violence.